Updated Odds for Seattle Mariners to Sign Top 5 Remaining Free-Agent Targets

The Seattle Mariners' list of free-agent targets is quickly shrinking. According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal and ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick, Seattle was interested in Victor Martinez recently and Billy Butler leading up to the trade deadline, but those two players signed in the early weeks of free agency. Confirmed on Tuesday, Hanley Ramirez also agreed to a deal with the Boston Red Sox after Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the Mariners were “aggressively pursuing” Ramirez two weeks ago. It appears that Seattle will have to turn to the trade market to address its needs in the outfield or DH. Still, the Mariners must avoid making any desperate decisions, as there are still a few free agents available who could help the team. Nelson Cruz is the most likely free-agent addition, while others have longer odds to come to Seattle.Begin Slideshow


Which Seattle Mariners Power Target Makes the Most Sense for Them?

The Seattle Mariners haven't found a right-handed power hitter yet. But bless their heart, they sure are trying. With righty power in short supply, the Mariners don't have a laundry list of options. But thanks to Jon Morosi of FoxSports.com, we know that general manager Jack Zduriencik is interested in the winter's top trade options: And thanks to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, we know Jack Z is also eyeing the top free-agent option: We had previously heard from Nightengale that the Mariners were "aggressively pursuing" Hanley Ramirez, another righty swinger with power. He landed with the Boston Red Sox, but at the time I outlined why the Mariners' head was in the right place. They were looking at a bat that could be: The dangerous right-handed presence they need alongside Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager. The clean-up hitter they sorely lacked in 2014. Simple stuff, but important. If the Mariners can acquire a guy who can ...


Hanley Ramirez to Red Sox: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Three-time All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez won't be staying in L.A. for the long haul, as he's opted to flee in free agency to the Boston Red Sox. The team confirmed the deal on Tuesday: Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports outlined the details of the contract: ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes provides a year-by-year breakdown: GM Ben Cherington commented on the signing via the Red Sox and Alex Speier of WEEI.com: Ramirez talked about his return to Boston via Speier: David Ortiz welcomed Ramirez back to Boston via his Instagram account: Ramirez commented on his relationship with Ortiz via MLB.com: According to Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Boston Red Sox and Ramirez had mutual interest and he shared the details of the reported deal. One day later, Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reported the two sides had finalized the agreement. Bill Baer of HardballTalk.com initially reported as early as November 2013 that Ramirez and the Dodgers were conducting negotiations, citing ESPNDeportes.com's Dionisio Soldevila. However, all ...


Detroit Tigers Defense Should Be Much Improved in 2015

In the past, the Detroit Tigers have been ceaselessly ridiculed and lambasted for having awful defense and relief pitching. Despite this, the Tigers are quietly putting together a strong defensive unit. Most of the criticism was based on the fact that Detroit played Miguel Cabrera at third and Prince Fielder at first. Now, even with Fielder gone and Cabrera at first (where he actually plays decent defense), criticism still pours in. This criticism was ever-present at last season’s trade deadline when the team traded possibly its best defender, center fielder Austin Jackson, to acquire David Price. The Tigers didn’t have a team of Gold Glove winners, but Jackson was looked at as the best of the bunch. His presence was missed as Detroit fans were made privy to the center field adventures of Rajai Davis and Ezequiel Carrera. That may sound like a children’s program, but it was a serious issue. Davis is a ...


Yoenis Cespedes Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz, Speculation Surrounding Red Sox Star

With Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez reportedly set to sign with the Boston Red Sox, per ESPN.com, the team addressed its hitting woes from a year ago. But with plenty of options in the outfield and needing other pieces elsewhere, namely starting pitching, the team is reportedly shopping Yoenis Cespedes. Jon Morosi of Fox Sports shared the report: Another clue that the Red Sox may be shipping out Cespedes is what GM Ben Cherington said when introducing Hanley Ramirez to the club per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register: Cespedes joined the Red Sox last season in the trade that sent Jon Lester to the Oakland Athletics. He hit .269 with five home runs and 33 RBI in 51 games with the club, finishing the season hitting .260 with 22 home runs and 100 RBI in 152 games between Boston and Oakland.     Still, Cespedes is a year away from free agency and the Red Sox are loaded ...


Is John Smoltz Worthy of Being First-Ballot 2015 Hall of Famer?

The chance for debate in Major League Baseball never ends. The individual awards were just handed out, and as if on cue, here comes the announcement for the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot ready to provide the next topic sure to spark discussion and more than a little disagreement. There are plenty of subplots to consider—will Craig Biggio get in after missing by a mere two votes last time? what happens to those with links to performance-enhancing drugs (whether rumored or real)? which players will the ongoing bottleneck hurt most?—but the focus here is on one new name to the list, in particular. Of the three big-name pitchers added to the this year's Hall of Fame ballot—Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz—the first two are no-doubt first-ballot entries. The third has a great chance of being voted in too, but his case isn't quite as open-and-shut by comparison. As impressive as Smoltz ...


Mapping Out Cubs’ New Plan After Whiffing on Key Target Russell Martin

Though the Chicago Cubs failed to sign free-agent catcher Russell Martin last week, it doesn’t mean the team won’t have other intriguing options moving forward. With plenty of money to spend on the open market this offseason and an opportunity to upgrade behind the plate, Cubs’ president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer made it clear in early November that the team would pursue Martin. As expected, the Cubs made a serious attempt at signing him, offering the 31-year-old a deal in the ballpark of four years and $64 million. Meanwhile, news of the reported offer prompted Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports to name the Cubs as the front-runners to land Martin. Martin and the Cubs seemed meant to be, but the Toronto Blue Jays wouldn’t let that happen, as they ultimately lured Martin north of the border with a five-year, $82 million pact. However, Martin’s agent, Matt Colleran, told ESPNChicago’s Jesse Rogers ...


MLB Free Agents 2014: Latest Rumors, Predictions for Key Stars

Key players have already signed new contracts this winter, setting the standard for how the rest of the offseason is going to unfold. MLB free agency, much like any other sport's free agency, is driven heavily by the depth of the market. Competition for stars will drive their prices up, as will how many other options there are at each position in free agency. That's why you see guys like Russell Martin, a good (but not great) catcher, getting a contract worth $82 million. Given how early the offseason is, there are still plenty of players left looking for a big contract. There will inevitably be competition for the top players' services. How far will their prices be driven up? Read below to see the latest rumors and predictions for which teams will win the bidding wars on a few key stars.   Jon Lester Every team in the bigs could use Jon Lester. Even the ...


MLB Trade Ideas Based on Latest News, Rumors and Speculation

The signings of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez by the Boston Red Sox have rightfully dominated the discourse around MLB for the past two days. For as incredible as the saga detailed by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman is, however, there’s been plenty of movement on the trade front. Here are four MLB trade scenarios based on actual need and published rumors from the last week. Each of them is a blockbuster in its own right. As a standard note, the following proposals are nothing more than postulation. The point here is to build a trade based on someone else's written or spoken word. They are balanced deals that are fair for each team, taking into consideration each MLB franchise's strengths and weaknesses. They are also independent of one another. That is to say that each trade presented here is a singular move and does not take into account any of the other proposals put forward.Begin Slideshow


Which Superstar Will Be MLB’s Next $300 Million Man?

In the wake of Giancarlo Stanton becoming Major League Baseball's first $300 million man, a question comes to mind. Who's next? There's no doubt baseball will get a second $300 million man and little doubt that he will come sooner rather than later. Probably within the next five years. Maybe even within the next three. As for what makes a good candidate for a $300 million contract, let's see here... Back in 2012, Maury Brown of Baseball Prospectus wrote that the ideal candidate for a $300 million contract was a player "who reaches the majors early, accrues service time quickly, and would reach arbitration and, subsequently, free agency at a young age." Stanton's contract proved this model was (PUN INCOMING) right on the money, so let's stick with it. According to Cot's Baseball Contracts, nine of the 10 biggest pacts ever have gone to position players, so the next $300 million man will likely be a hitter. ...


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